A seminar was held recently in Shenzhen to address issues related to visas for foreigners during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Shekou Management and Service Center for Expats.
If the expats are now abroad and their residence permits expire before the borders reopen, can they apply for any type of visa to return to China and reapply for the residence permit or they have to start with the Z visa again?
Foreigners who could not enter the Chinese mainland within the validity period of their residence permits due to the epidemic could enter with visas of type Z, L, M, F, Q and S when the epidemic is over.
They shall submit applications for work permit extension to the foreign experts affairs authorities before applying to the Entry and Exit Administrative Department of local police for the extension of residence permits.
Will individuals still have to be quarantined when they come back?
For now, any individual, whether a Chinese citizen or a foreign citizen, needs to be quarantined when they come back to China. And please check the epidemic prevention and control measures of your destination city in China before your flight. For example, if your destination is Beijing, your entry port will be arranged in other cities, and only after your quarantine in the entry city, you may enter Beijing.
What should I do if my visa is going to expire?
First, your current stay can automatically be extended for 60 days during the epidemic, but the 60-day free automatic extension can only be used once. If this 60-day extension is going to expire, then you need to go to the Entry and Exit Administrative Department to apply for a stay permit.
How do individuals contact the closest Chinese embassy or consulate to them to apply for a visa?
You can visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, which has a list of all Chinese embassies and consulates around the world. You can search on the map and find the nearest one to contact.